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Coca Cola to close two UK production sites

A recent announcement by Coca Cola means that almost 300 jobs could be lost in Milton Keynes and Northampton.

Loss of jobs

Coca Cola recently shared its plans to close the Milton Keynes manufacturing site, with job losses expected to total 234 at that site alone.

The distribution centre in Northampton would also suffer losses, with 54 roles redundancies expected. Unite, the trade union, has expressed its disappointment and has stated that it will do what it can to prevent this from happening.

Why?

With the news coming as a shock to workers, Coca Cola released a statement stating that it will be supporting people working at the sites throughout the consultation process.

It also said that although it did not make the decision lightly, its proposals set out a plan to transfer the production and warehousing processes to other sites within the UK. This will create 121 roles and will give current workers the opportunity for possible redeployment.

Coca Cola has stated that closing the sites and moving production elsewhere will provide greater efficiency in the overall production process. If the plans were to move forward, it means that the two sites would close in 2019.

About the sites

With its establishment in 1976, the Milton Keynes site produces around 60 million cases of Coca Cola branded soft drinks per year. The Northampton site, which opened in 1993, assists in the distribution process 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The closure of the two sites will be felt within the local areas.

With almost 300 jobs at stake, workers will no doubt be in shock at the sudden proposal put forward by the drinks company. Although Coca Cola stated that it was proud of the longstanding links it had with both Milton Keynes and Northampton, the need for greater efficiency was the driver that put the proposal in motion.

Fighting the plans

With the potential closure of the two sites, Sally Mortimer, the regional officer for Unite in the East Midlands, stated that the news would be a huge blow to the economy in Northampton.

With the belief that the site is an essential part of the process, due to its location in in a prime spot with excellent links by road, Mortimer also added that a case would be put forward to Coca Cola to fight the proposal.

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